I was on my way to meet the first of two of my perspective patients this morning, when I began to freak myself out. You know, like right before you get up in front of a crowd of people to give a speech. If that doesn't freak you out then you are a super human in my book. Me? Not a super human. I don't like any sort of "all eyes on me-ness." I began the mental self-bashing, the irrational rationalizations, if you will.

"You don't have to do this."
"Just go home and watch TV."
"Run, you won't be of any use to anybody anyways."
"You are going to fail."

The wheels turned a little more. Why the nerves? I'm completely insignificant. In a good way. Nothing I do within the next hour is going to completely make or break me. Or anyone else. There is no reason for me to pile all this pressure on myself. Instant relief. I am insignificant in this moment, but my God? He is not. Carry my feet for me, Lord. There was major internal tension having its way with me. I remembered a few lines from the book I'm reading, The Barefoot Church:
"Tension is not a sign of God's absence. In fact, it's the opposite. Tension is most likely the evidence of his presence. Only when we recognize his presence do we grow in his presence."
So it went. I pushed on and visited my two patients with my supervisor (who exudes comfort), and to be honest, I feel unaccomplished. Not that I am expecting to accomplish anything other than living out this life God has planned for me, but friends, I was lost out there. Like an "it's the middle of the night, and I'm driving in a strange city with my lights off" kind of lost. I knew going into this I would feel uncomfortable, but I didn't realize that I would freeze up like an icicle. The surroundings I faced were so unknown to me. The people with their failing bodies and lost abilities. The lady with her precious smile and continued "God bless you's." The lady with her tears and longing for her mother. Y'all, I froze-right-up. Words eluded me, let alone a complete sentence.

I called Steven on my way home and cried. I was overwhelmed with emotions and perspectives too fresh to write about just yet. I was gently reminded that with repetition will come comfort. I'm not giving up on this journey. I want to be able to open up.

To touch. To share. To listen.

But for next week, I'm just praying for some defrosting.


Anna said...

The supervisor exudes comfort,because that's her job. Those are her people, and she has many hours behind her. I am proud of you for taking the big step out, not going home and watching tv, facing the hard. For that day, that was enough. Putting yourself out there, trying to be with someone who is dying, who will die no matter what you do or how well you do it, is a hard thing. You are being so brave.

Erin said...

"For that day, that was enough." Love that truth.